Fire Earth

Mass die-offs from human impact and planetary response to the assault could occur by early 2016

Posts Tagged ‘melting glaciers’

Flash Floods Kill Dozens, Destroy Thousands of Homesteads in S. Somalia, Kenya, Uganda

Posted by feww on May 10, 2013

Deadly Flash Floods Wreak Havoc in S. Somalia, Uganda

Tens of thousands of people have lost their homes and livelihoods, and dozens are dead amid flash flooding across a vast region in East Africa.

Flash floods triggered by extreme rain events  in southern Somalia have claimed at least a dozen lives, most of them  children,  left  more than 50,000 others displaced, and submerged thousands of hectares of farmland across the country.

  • The flooding in Juba and Shabelle river basins have destroyed scores of homes, businesses and much of the infrastructure in the region.

In Uganda, at least a dozen people  are dead, and 25,000 others made homeless, since flooding began on May 1.

  • The lively town of Bulembia Division is now a ghost town, said a report.
  • “Further down River Nyamwamba is Kilembe Mines Hospital. The 260 bed hospital was hit by boulders wiping away the staff quarters and flooding the rest of the hospital.”
  • “The flash floods are attributed to heavy rains coupled with by the melting glaciers on top of Mountain Rwenzori. According to the climate change unit at the Ministry of Water and Environment, only 18.5 hectares remained [The peak has retreated by more than 85%—Moderator] by 2006 out of the hectares that were at the highest peak of Mountain Rwenzori in 1906.”

Ruwenzori range
The Ruwenzori Range. Satellite images of the Ruwenzori Mountains. Images  taken in 1995 and in 2012  show a decline in the extent of the glaciers on these mountain peaks. A century ago the glaciers of the Ruwenzori Mountains covered nearly 6.5 km².  The glacial recession on the Ruwenzori Mountains is most likely because of higher air temperatures and less snow accumulation during the 20th century
(UNEP n.d.).

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Other Global Disasters/ Significant Events

Iowa, USA

Fifteen additional Iowa counties have now been declared disaster areas following  damages and losses caused by severe flooding and storms late last month.

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Michigan, USA

Allegan County declares state of emergency from April flooding in attempt to get disaster aid

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Illinois, USA

Gov. Quinn has asked the Federal Government to declare 11 Illinois counties major disaster areas following the storms and flooding that pounded the state in April.

  • Quinn declared a total of 49 counties disaster areas following widespread flash and river flooding caused by extreme rain events in April.
  • “For the 11 counties included in Thursday’s request, the teams identified 41 homes that were destroyed, 761 with major damage and 2,715 with some damage, according to the governor’s office. In addition, nearly 80 businesses sustained flood damage,” said a report.

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DISASTER CALENDARMay 10, 2013  
SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN:
1,037 Days Left 

Mass die-offs resulting from human impact and the planetary response to the anthropogenic assault could occur by early 2016.

  • SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN: 1,037 Days Left to ‘Worst Day’ in the brief Human  History
  • The countdown began on May 15, 2011 …

GLOBAL WARNINGS

Global Disasters: Links, Forecasts and Background

Posted in global deluge, Global Disaster watch, global disasters, global disasters 2013 | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Famine in China, India If Himalayan Melt Continues

Posted by feww on December 7, 2009

Is Earth Round?

Does heat melt the ice, or make it last longer?

Himalayan Glaciers Are Really Melting!


Himalaya from the International Space Station. Astronauts on board the International Space Station took advantage of their unique vantage point to photograph the Himalayas [28 January 2004,] looking south from over the Tibetan Plateau. The perspective is illustrated by the summits of Makalu [left (8,462 metres; 27,765 feet)], Everest [middle (8,848 metres; 29,035 feet)] , Lhotse [middle (8,516 metres; 27,939 feet)] and Cho Oyu [right (8,201 metres; 26,906 feet)] — at the heights typically flown by commercial aircraft. NASA Photo ID: ISS008-E-13304. See also: Himalayas Pan

Indisputable Fact #1 [Even by the Flat Earth yardstick wielded by the 'Corporment*-instructed folks' at you know where in the UK.]

The temperatures in the Himalayan mountain range have increased by between 0.15 and 0.6 degrees Celsius (0.27 and 1.08 degrees Fahrenheit) per decade in the last 30 years [3 x the decadal increase,] exponentially accelerating the rate by which glaciers are melting.

Indisputable Fact #2

Vast lakes made by shrinking glaciers in the region threaten to burst, burying dozens of villages downstream in Bhutan and Nepal.

Indisputable Fact #3

The locals say each year for the past 30 or so years feels to be warmer than the previous year.

Indisputable Fact #4

By far many more experts believe that temperatures are changing, and that the warming is happening more rapidly at altitude, than those who oppose climate change as fiction.


KHUNJERAB Pass, Pakistan: Himalayan glaciers feed 10 rivers including Asia’s seven greatest: Brahmaputra, Ganges, Huange He, Indus, Mekong, Salween (Thanlwin), Yangtse and Yellow rivers. Up to 1.5 billion people are dependent on the Himalayan lifelines. Photo Credit: Olivier Matthys/EPA. Image may be subject to copyright. Source.

Indisputable Fact #5

Himalayas Glaciers, a 2,400-km  range that feed Asia’s ten largest rivers, provide lifelines for up to 1.5 billion Asians in half dozen countries downstream. Any “alarmist”  finding could prove very costly for the governments in those countries.

India’s Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh recently cited questionable research an the Indian geologist, Vijay Kumar Raina, categorically denying that climate change was causing any of Himalayan glaciers to melt, and that some of them were actually advancing.

The minister was banking on the fact that there’s a lack of scientific data in the region, which has been described as a “blank spot.”

But the consensus among the scientific community is that ” most glaciers will be gone in 40 years as a result of climate change,” according to Prashant Singh, leader of environmental group WWF’s Climate for Life campaign.

FEWW Comment: What is being ignored by most glaciologists is the behavior of glaciers after partial melt. The mathematical models widely assume that the glaciers would stay near stationery and just melt away until they dry up and disappear. There’s no provision made for the highly probable impact of earthquakes, landslides and the lubricating effects of meltwater on the upper layers of ice.

Up to 1.5 billion people, and more added each year, are dependent on the Himalayan glaciers lifelines. Less water would lead to drought affecting agriculture throughout the region and leading to famine, disease, war and unimaginable number of deaths.

[* Corporment: Government run by corporate interests]

Related Links:

Posted in Climate Change, Copenhagen conference, drought and deluge, glacier, India Environment | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Penguins DDT Contamination Levels Still High

Posted by feww on May 10, 2008

Just when you thought penguins fared better than polar bears!

Just when you thought the Antarctic marine life had only a few minor problems like the climate change and ozone hole to worry about, but were otherwise safe from other harms like ingesting plastic trash, or growing a “skin” rash from pesticide contamination, it has been revealed that the deadly pesticide DDT, banned in most countries more than 35 years ago, stills show up in penguins in Antarctica.

A researcher has blamed the DDT contamination on the chemical’s accumulation of the poison in melting glaciers.

“DDT, along with a lot of other of these organic contaminants, actually travel through the atmosphere … toward the polar regions by a process of evaporation and then condensation in cooler climates,” according to Heidi Geisz of the Virginia Institute of Marine Science.

The DDT contamination in the Adelie penguins was first discovered in 1964. The contamination level rose in the 1970s and has stayed stable since then, Geisz said.


Mating Adelie penguins at Cape Adare in Ross Sea, Antarctica January of 2001. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike license versions 2.5, 2.0, and 1.0 (Credit: Mila Zinkova)

In 1962, Silent Spring by American biologist Rachel Carson was published. The book cataloged the environmental impacts of the indiscriminate spraying of DDT in the US and questioned the logic of releasing large amounts of chemicals into the environment without fully understanding their effects on ecology or human health. The book suggested that DDT and other pesticides may cause cancer and that their agricultural use was a threat to wildlife, particularly birds. Its publication was one of the signature events in the birth of the environmental movement. Silent Spring resulted in a large public outcry that eventually led to most uses of DDT being banned in the US in 1972. DDT was subsequently banned for agricultural use worldwide, but its limited use in disease vector control continues to this day in certain parts of the world and remains controversial. (source)

Is it possible that New Zealand is still using DDT in large quantities?

Related Links:

Posted in Climate Change, environment, health, politics, Tourism, Travel | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Only Zero Emissions Would Avert Dangerous Warming

Posted by feww on October 15, 2007

The following is a response to an article in the New Scientist titled Zero emissions needed to avert ‘dangerous’ warming. The response was submitted by The Management School of Restorative Business. The original article is posted below.

RE: Zero emissions needed to avert ‘dangerous’ warming

MSRB concurs with the overall conclusion of the University of Victoria report that the only way to stabilize the temperature is by total elimination of industrial emissions.

However, according to our model, even with the total elimination of industrial emissions effected immediately the temperature would stabilize above 3.2oC probably by 2025.

Further, their timeline appears to be too optimistic. According to our model the global warming “tipping point” occurred in mid 2006, beyond which all changes are irreversible [in the short run.] We expect to experience catastrophic climatic events starting by 2009-2010. By as early as 2015, we believe dramatic ecosystems collapses including ozone holes, global heating, extreme climatic events, toxic pollution, depletion of food and natural resources, unethical conduct, war and disease pandemics would result in the depopulation of most of our population clusters.

The world entered a double exponential* phase in 1980, when Earth’s “torching energy,” exceeded 9.51 terawatts {q[torch] > 9.51TW.} According to MSRB model the countdown toward the Earth’s “Terminal Energy” had started. The q[torch] for the first half 2007 averaged at 16.8TW. See http://msrb.wordpress.com/2007/08/25/the-point-of-no-return/ and http://msrb.wordpress.com/stop-burning-earth/

*[Note: Double exponential functions grow even faster than exponential functions.]

Apart from the obvious political reasons, most climate models are fundamentally flawed because they (i) use tired old formula to “predict” the future changes based on empirical analysis, (ii) base their calculations on the “official” data, (iii) are “one-dimensional” and therefore unable to model accurately or forecast the behavior of sophisticated, highly interdependent systems such as Earth’s ecosystems.

The best [and the only intelligent] course of action on global and national levels would be an immediate “powerdown” to the “safe” energy consumption levels of about 60EJ, while allocating most of the resources to creating low-energy communities that provide food, shelter, education and safety for as many people as possible.

The Management School of
Restorative Business (MSRB)

Related Links:

Original Article:

http://environment.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn12775&print=true

Zero emissions needed to avert dangerous warming
16:56 11 October 2007
NewScientist.com news service
Catherine Brahic

Only the total elimination of industrial emissions will succeed in imiting climate change to a 20C rise in temperatures, according to omputer analysis of climate change. Anything above this target has been identified as “dangerous” by some scientists, and the limit has been adopted by many policymakers.

The researchers say their study highlights the shortcomings of governmental plans to limit climate change.

A warming of 20C above pre-industrial temperatures is frequently cited as the limit beyond which the world will face “dangerous” climate change. Beyond this level, analysis suggests the continents will cease to absorb more carbon dioxide than they produce. As the tundra and other regions of permafrost thaw, they will spew more gas into the atmosphere, adding to the warming effect of human emissions.

The end result will be dramatic ecological changes, including widespread coastal flooding, reduced food production, and widespread species extinction.

Established model

In January 2007, the European Commission issued a communication stating that “the European Union’s objective is to limit global average temperature increase to less than 20C compared to pre-industrial levels”.

Andrew Weaver and colleagues at the University of Victoria in Canada say this means going well beyond the reduction of industrial emissions discussed in international negotiations.

Weaver’s team used a computer model to determine how much emissions must be limited in order to avoid exceeding a 20C increase. The model is an established tool for analysing future climate change and was used in studies cited in the IPCC’s reports on climate change.

They modelled the reduction of industrial emissions below 2006 levels by between 20% and 100% by 2050. Only when emissions were entirely eliminated did the temperature increase remain below 20C.

A 100% reduction of emissions saw temperature change stabilise at 1.50C above the pre-industrial figure. With a 90% reduction by 2050, Weaver’s model predicted that temperature change will eventually exceed 20C compared to pre-industrial temperatures but then plateau.

Stark contrast

The researchers conclude that governments should consider reducing emissions to 90% below current levels and remove what is left in the atmosphere by capturing and storing carbon (see Chemical ‘sponge’ could filter CO2 from air).

There is a stark contrast between this proposal and the measures currently being considered. Under the UN’s Kyoto protocol, most developed nations have agreed to limit their emissions to a minimum of 5% below 1990 levels by 2012. What happens beyond this date is the subject of ongoing debate and negotiation.

The European Union nations have agreed to limit their emissions to 20% below 1990 levels by 2020, and support dropping global emissions to 50% below 1990 levels by 2050.

“There is a disconnect between the European Union arguing for a 20C threshold and calling for 50% cuts at 2050 – you can’t have it both ways,” says Weaver, who adds: “If you’re going to talk about 20C you have got to be talking 90% emissions cuts.”

Vanishing point

Tim Lenton, a climatologist at the University of East Anglia in the UK, agrees that even the most ambitious climate change policies so far proposed by governments may not go far enough. “It is overly simplistic assume we can take emissions down to 50% at 2050 and just hold them there. We already know that that’s not going to work,” he says.

Even with emissions halved, Lenton says carbon dioxide will continue building up in the atmosphere and temperatures will continue to rise. For temperature change to stabilise, he says industrial carbon emissions must not exceed what can be absorbed by Earth’s vegetation, soil and oceans.

At the moment, about half of industrial emissions are absorbed by ocean and land carbon “sinks”. But simply cutting emissions by half will not solve the problem, Lenton says, because these sinks also grow and shrink as CO2 emissions change.

“People are easily misled into thinking that 50% by 2050 is all we have to do when in fact have to continue reducing emissions afterwards, all the way down to zero,” Lenton says.

Journal reference: Geophysical Research Letters ( DOI: 0.1029/2007GL031018 )

Fair Use Notice: See Article 107, CHAPTER 1, TITLE 17 of U.S. Copyright Code

Posted in collapse, double exponential phase, ecosystems, environment, fossil fuels, Global Warming, lifestyle, Zero emissions | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

 
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